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August 17, 2010

Biography


Mother. Wife. Bestselling Author. Natural Hair Advocate. Habitual Over-sharer. 

Approximately ten years ago, Nikki Walton was a Missouri-based college student, balancing her studies and her social life like so many others, discovering deep-rooted things in her subconscious that had always existed but remained undetected. While away at school, Walton enlisted her boyfriend to transport her to and from her trusted hairstylist in St. Louis. This monthly trek entailed a three hour ride down the interstate- all to have her hair washed and “pressed” under scorching heat, ultimately achieving bone straight tresses that lasted a week. “After a year or two of that, my then-boyfriend, now husband, pulled me to the side and said, ‘You’re a Psych major, you should see that this isn’t healthy. Your hair is beautiful no matter how it is, and you should be comfortable with it kinky, curly, or straight,’” Walton recalls, “It was at that time that I had to agree with him.” Today, Nikki is a successful psychotherapist and the most credible online source in regards to natural hair care, maintenance, and decoding psychological ties between black women and their hair.

After carefully considering the words of her college sweetheart, Walton resolved to make peace with her natural texture, researching which styles embraced black women’s curls and kinks, what products were best, and what techniques worked in maintaining healthy hair. She began following the site NaturallyCurly.com and experimented with new products and ideas. Walton avidly participated in forums on the site, chiming into the conversation with tips and suggestions based on her own hair care findings. It wasn’t until October 2008 when she would launch her own site CurlyNikki.com. She dedicated herself to assisting black women in learning to love their hair, and the reader following she’d built from NaturallyCurly was devoted to her as well. “They said: ‘If you build your own website, we’ll come to it because we’re only checking in on NaturallyCurly to see what you’re up to,’” Walton admits.

Two days into setting up CurlyNikki.com, Walton posted 30 articles using the information she’d diligently gathered over the years of getting to know her texture. “It was just all up there. I’d become an expert from just researching and analyzing the information,” Nikki says, “ I started the site, launched it with about 300 members from NaturallyCurly.com that came over with me and it’s grown exponentially from there.” Beyond providing tips and product recommendations, Walton implements her learned skill on the site as well in the subsection On the Couch with CurlyNikki. “It’s not just about the styling and the aesthetic, it’s also about the psychology because it’s very much wrapped up in body image and self-esteem. Our hair is everything,” Walton enthuses, “So allowing people to vent and talk about their family’s response, their friends’ response, to them Big Chopping or going natural, it’s very cathartic to be able to do that in a safe place.”

After a while, with CurlyNikki.com reaching unforeseen milestones in online trafficking, Walton thought of stepping outside of her own outlet to make even more women aware of the hair options they believed to be nonexistent. She reached out to the online editor for the Tyra Show’s website. The editor thought Nikki had innovative ideas that would fare well on their site and decided to feature a column from her. On the day of posting, the site drew more hits than it had ever seen, jolting Tyra Banks into paying attention and inviting Nikki to appear on the show two days later. “People will say on the site sometimes: ‘It’s just hair, it’s not that deep,’ but they come to the site [CurlyNikki.com] everyday, so maybe it is that deep. For black women especially, it’s wrapped up in our quality of life.”


For Nikki, this is only the beginning. Her methods in assisting “new” naturals are unwavering in their inventiveness. In March of 2011, she created a free CurlyNikki mobile phone application to give her readers more of an interactive feel when they were out and about. The application is the perfect tool allowing the CurlyNikki community to share tips on the run or product recommendations when in the hair care aisle. Within 5 months of the app’s launch, there were 45,000 downloads. “I’m just taking it as it comes. Things have happened so fast,” she pauses, “The growth has happened so fast that right now, I’m just trying to provide the best service that I can. I feel like that’s the best part of my success- that I focus on making sure that the user experience is nice and easy and that the information is thorough and accurate. I feel like if I continue to do that, everything else will fall into place.”


photo credits: Danny of
topshelfjunior.com

16 Chime in!:

SwirlieCurlies said...

lovely.. :)

wisecurls said...

So inspiring.

Latoya Simone said...

YES!!! I finally have officially made the switch to natural hair for life!!!!!! Thank you for this website and all of your informative tips! I am a follower for life!

Anonymous said...

Hello CurlyNikki,

Are you going to be in Oklahoma? I heard that you may? If so, Do you Need Mary Kay Vendors. I'm a Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant if so. Thank you CurlyNikki,

Blessings Always, Tiffany Taylor (P.S. Just Liked you on Face Book)! I'm also working on going Natural!

Anonymous said...

Scared. I have fine...kinky hair. Getting to a point of freeing my mind from all the negative comments I received as a girl. Hair definitely not like my sister's....have to make a decision soon.

Samikki33 said...

I myself am a psychologist currently living in the state of Texas, and have lived here for about a year. When I moved here I wanted to change my life, my personal mantra as well as my hair. I have been natural for some time now and I love its health and natural glow. Thanks for the natural voice!

Anonymous said...

This site is awesome!!! I am a newbie (only 2 weeks in) to natural hair but I am loving it!!! thanks for all the helpfull information.

Anonymous said...

I am going crazy right now people.... I'm facing wall and don't know what to do... I may just cut this hair right away. I've done a second big chopped 4 months ago. But my stress levels are at all high my food intake is horrible and drinking water is...let's not even g there. My hair is full of split ends and is horrible and it hasn't been growing this past few months. To add to this stuff my family specially my mother is so critical of my hair is preventing me from enjoying my hair journey. I was loving my hair when it was short, but now that it is in long enough to look a mess but not long enough to do anything... I really getting emotional and stressed. I don't know what do... Please have in consideration that I am broke... and hairdressing is not an option...

msccheryl said...

I have decided to go natural. But before I do the BC. I'm doing research on hair products to use and the hold process of maintaining my hair in it's natural state. The problem I'm having is finding sisters with really fine wavy hair, that has gone natural. I was born with fine hair. How do I deal with it????? HELP!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ladies,
I've been natural for about two years. This was my second attempt. I too became frustrated the first time I attempted to take the journey. Well this time around I did lots and lots of research on natural hair. These is a ton of good information out now because many sistas have embraced their natural tress and are sharing info. Best advice: use protective transitioning styles like braids, weaves, and
twist-outs, etc. The big chop is great for those that are used to wearing short hair but for those like me who had long hair the "big chop" can be tramatic, especially when most people are gonna be very critical so expect them to be. If you are aware of a natural stylist in your area, seek one they are great at assisting you with your journey. Stay strong and hanging there, everything everyone I asked about their hair told me the same exact thing "you're gonna love your hair". They were absolutley right I love my hair now more than ever and I feel so free. Thanks CurlyNikki for creating this site. Kudos two you!!!

Anonymous said...

are you Haitian????

eureka said...

Hey. I love your site. I have a few questions to ask you. I have always been natural. For three years I had my hair in locks. Recently i Combed my locks out. I wanted to ask you for some tips that you can give me to help me get the full thick hair that i had before i took my locks out. Thank you for this website. I have learned so many new things.

Parece said...

I actually just found this site and It is very helpful...I have not had a perm in almost a year and it seems like it's taking forever but I'm being patient...I have to find some good products out there now that I dont have anymore perm in my roots...I don't know if I want to do the BC but if I do I would be donating my ahir to locks of love. I currently have 16 inches of ponytail and I would love for a child to have that. I figured I would see what the summer holds and how far I get then I'll make that final decision

Anonymous said...

PSue says....
Hello Out There,
About a month ago, I went in for my first BC consultation ; I had spent weeks prior going back and forth with a classmate( who is about 7months natural) about it and talked it over with my bf ( he has been pretty supportive about it ). I was willing but nervous to do it . My class told me she would go with me to the consultation for moral support. I went in for the consultation with the expectation of doing a BC the same day...but chickened out :(. Usually I am a “go getter” and risk taker... but this was one of the biggest decisions and couldn’t make it based on spontaneous impulse. I could see all the excuses popping up( i.e. career, may not look right etc.) . And so later that day of the consultation, I did a "mini chop" to transition me through. My classmate told me I would know when it was the right time to do a BC. So I made the decision that I would BC on my b-day which would be three weeks later. A week later, after I got my eyebrows done, I stared myself in the rear view mirror and said "its time" ; the next day, I went in and "BC"ed. At first, I was in love with it... but then I kept getting these shock sessions when I would pass the mirror and it took a little bit to get used too. I am three weeks in and have grown to cherish and nourish my hair in a way I had never done when I was relaxed. It ‘s so strange... its like a whole new appreciation for my hair... and I promise you I have whole new swag, lol…. I enjoy looking for new ways to nourish my hair and get excited when its time to deep condition every three days, lol. I always felt like I was hiding under my weave, but now... its different. So far out of the ooodles of positive of great reviews on the new look, I have only had one negative response ( my mom). But not moved at all considering we don’t live cities away ,lol. But anywho, I just wanted to take an opportunity and write down my journey and just get some support and hear how others are transitioning emotionally and physically; I promise the next time I write it wont be as long :(). So hats down to those who have walked this walk and encourage those who are looking to travel this road…
PSue

Anonymous said...

Blessing (Bella) Love ur bio-its giving me the power to believe, no matter where I am in my life, I can return to my first love, so I will be returning to school soon. Thank u so much in all you give.

Anonymous said...

In order to transition, I took a look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyc3eMx97hY

There's also tons of videos on styles. It's so great to see I'm not the only one finally appreciating natural beautiful hair. Thank you!!!

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